What Reading Does

‚ÄčReading is the manure of a person’s growth. And meaningful reading is the best quality of manure you can get out there. But what is meaningful reading?
  • Being open to books that make you uncomfortable
  • Being open to critics of books and authors you love.
  • Being open to others loving the books you didn’t
  • Being open to listening to the thoughts of other readers about the books you collectively read
  • Being open to listening to other readers’ thoughts on books you don’t intend to pick.
And perhaps for all the reasons above, I love being on bookstagram. If reading is what makes the plants in us grow, bookstagram is the forest of well-built trees who provide us with the bounty that enables us to grow in the best possible manner. This realization has hit me most in those times when I was enabled to view the good things about the books I despised and the flaws of those I loved.
My recent read, Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig is one of the latter, thanks to the incredible thinker and observer @painted.verses_ Monika. (Please read her review of this book to understand why I say this, also her other reviews. She’s just too good).
Reasons To Stay Alive is a much-celebrated book in which Haig has bravely chronicled his experiences of dealing with anxiety and depression. The book was relatable at a lot of fronts, so much so, that I ended up weeping hard.
Reading this book by Matt Haig provided me a sense of solidarity that I hadn’t felt before. Depression is not a one size fits all thing. We all experience it in our own ways and none is smaller or insignificant than the other.
Although I could not relate to a lot of things that Haig expressed in the book, not that they are other-worldly, I found this book a meaningful and heartfelt read. The fact that Haig braved it all and then bared it all is a big plus for me. Celebrities, especially men, expressing their trauma, I feel, will go a long way in breaking the stigma around mental health.
The world is still waking up to the fact of the realness of the existence of mental illnesses. The stigma is still strong, especially among men, that hinders them to seek help. At times I wonder why is that? Do people not see those visible signs? What makes them ignore those signs? Why do they think that accepting the fact that they or their close one is a depressive so bad? I have enabled these stigmas myself for a very long time. I wanted to reach out, yet something held me back. I used to look at my family with vacant eyes, while my insides used to be screaming for help.
Read this book if you are someone who is not able to figure out why your friend is always sad and unresponsive and moody, read this book to get a glimpse into how a depressive feels. What is the cause behind the actions they effect? And if you are someone who is battling it out, read it to know that you are not alone and that your tribe is rooting for you to stay alive.